SAIIER 2018:Laboratory of Evolution – Centre of Human Unity
Kalabhumi Music Studio
Pitanga Cultural Centre
|Laboratory of Evolution – Centre of Human Unity|
The LOE-CHU, founded like SAIIER itself in 1984 on the suggestion of Kireet Joshi, is dedicated to the study of and research about all that can help humanity towards the new step of Evolution as described by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother – including Human Unity, the very goal of Auroville.
One main aspect of our work is our Specialized Library: a center of documentation (in all media) for research in all fields related to Evolution and Human Unity. The head-librarian and coordinator of that team is Kalyani, with the help of Olivier, the second pillar of our Library.
The other main aspect of the LOE-CHU’s work is research, not only academic, but also through documented direct experience. Bhaga, the original Founder of the LOE-CHU as a whole, is the head-researcher and coordinator of that other team, the second pillar of which is Namah.
Activities of the year:
For our Library, the theme of this year was renovation. A new member joined the Library of LOE-CHU: a retired engineer who dedicates his time to all-over maintenance and repairs in the place. Also a grant through Auroville's 50th birthday funds brought about the renovation of our external walls and the landscaping of our immediate surroundings – a most welcome embellishment.
As for the Research team, it has included this year not only Namah and Bhaga, but also a beloved previous member from many years ago, Egle, now back in Auroville. Yet another Newcomer, Irena, has chosen the LOE-CHU as the framework in which to do her own research work in Dance Therapy, mostly through a special dance technique known as ‘Dance of the 5 Rhythms’.
Over the year, several French groups attended Namah's workshops about Auroville, discovering with her help different subjects of study available in our community. Programs were offered by her on the Integral Yoga, in French, for guests as well as Aurovilians. Namah’s main interest and focus here is to make understandable an Unending Education (as in Auroville’s own Charter by Mother) according to Sri Aurobindo’s integral psychology. Besides these personal activities, every week Namah participated in the regular meetings of the group Lîlâ-CIRHU, this year studying particularly ‘’La Genèse du Surhomme” (by Satprem). The group organized a whole exhibition on the subject, realized from 15th February to 15th of March on the occasion of Auroville’s 50th birthday.
Bhaga held regular meetings with a small group of Aurovilians (mostly from the Lîlâ-CIRHU group), sharing among themselves observations about body and cells' consciousness based on Sri Aurobindo and Mother’s experiences, and Bhaga’s own ongoing researches. Bhaga also received during the Winter months two regular visitors from France: two ladies both from the medical field, who come since three years to learn and practice ever more about their own cellular consciousness, and the Integral Yoga as a whole. A young French man, a doctor too, has also been coming on his own for the same purpose.
This year, through African songs Bhaga also experienced a renewed inner link with Africa, where she was born and grew up until teen-age. This brought about in Bhaga a whole direct understanding of how the various Cultural Pavilions of Auroville’s International Zone can be used by each person towards his or her realization of Human Unity through Diversity: they can do it even within their individual consciousness. This led to a whole little event during Auroville’s Golden Jubilee Week, in which these songs were sung and danced at the African Pavilion as its special contribution to the general celebrations, and a symbolic inner call for the awakening of Africa itself to the evolutive spirituality of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
Brain training and assessment project – a report by Egle
Since the very beginning of the LOE-CHU in 1984, it was a dream of Bhaga to work and do some research with Biofeedback devices in general, and particularly the method called Neuro-feedback. This is a modern technological development, which allows a person to receive an immediate feedback of one's brain activities. Until now these technologies have been very expensive and available only in the hospitals.
We have got the equipment from one interesting and progressive Dutch company, which helps people to understand their brain activities, how these influence their life and how their reality and life can change, if they manage to change the brain patterns.
Mainly neuro-feedback is used very effectively as a therapeutic tool in cases of many psychological problems, such as ADHS, depression, trauma, dementia, etc.
Our aim at LOE-CHU was to see the patterns of the brain, but not only to concentrate on the problems and to heal them. The aim of all these training sessions is in the final stage to learn to reach meditational states of mind (Alpha-Theta brain waves balance) fast and at will. Since the brain receives an immediate feedback, it sees what happens and learns to reach or change the brain wave patters quite fast. It can be compared with learning to ride a bicycle.
The project has been created for Aurovilians with the aim of training and research. We have made 30 brain waves assessments and quite some brain training sessions with 5 Aurovilians.
Some people after getting the test results said that they could observe some changes in their lives and behaviour, even without undergoing the training. Alone the awareness and knowledge of one's brain activities already gave to those people a tool to work upon their difficulties and to strengthen the positive ways of their brain.
Also it was interesting to observe, that when people concentrated on special chakras or meditated, the test results changed immediately. So, the participants knew, that if they concentrated or just closed their eyes, that could change the brain activity, which in turn changes the mental and psychological condition.
We see that this is a long-term project, because to change some brain patterns, which one can have after traumatic experience or even since childhood, takes a long time. It could take a 6 month weekly training. And, as the creators of the equipment suggest, only then it is possible to work on meditational states and reaching them at will. As they say, in meditational state “we can do more, while doing less”. Because in meditational state brain works most efficiently and without loosing too much energy. This goes of course in alignment with the practice of yoga.
It was very interesting to see in retrospective, once knowing the brain patterns of a person, how is one's personality, character, attitudes, etc. It is an interesting psychological research subject. Everything is connected and the influence goes both ways. Change the mood and the brain patterns change. Change the brain patterns, and the mood will change.
It was also evident, that each brain is very individual, though some similarities have been observed among very long term Aurovilians.
Although all this is very interesting and there were lots of requests from Aurovilians to have at least the test, even if not continuing with the training, the experiment was challenging. The biggest challenge was related to the equipment itself: the equipment always stresses out the “difficulties” of the brain and not the beauty, the authenticity, etc. This is the limitation of this technology and, of course, it was mainly created as a therapeutic tool.
So, to continue with the research in meditational states of mind, we probably would be able to do it once people underwent the training.
For example, one test person had great mental capacity, fast working brain and at the same time was able to go into meditational trance state (theta-delta) within minutes. But the equipment was not able “to see” the advantages of this brain, and stressed out the unbalances here and there, etc.
It was quite a challenge practically too, since only one person knew how to work with this equipment, while there were plenty of interested people to have the test and to proceed with the training. It is a very personal work, so time-wise it is simply not possible to work with all wiling people. We would need a few more machines and more people to conduct the test and the training.
This year our Librarians went through the classification of our books and tried to be sharper in defining each one's main subject and connection with the work of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
In the Research field, a compilation on the aspects of the different planes of the being was done by Namah. The research was to classify elements of our life, our psychological aspects and our behavior belonging to each plane, and to find effective practices which could help towards transformation of the whole being. In that way, as many as 40 different inner exercises were prepared and put together by Namah for concentration and relaxation, at the physical, mental and vital levels.
The direct contact and collaboration between LOE-CHU and the African Pavilion has been enriching for both sides, and has been beneficial inwardly for many of the guests from different places who were at the time staying there, and who expressed their gratitude.
Not only are more Aurovilians now valuing and practicing Cellular Consciousness, but through the three medical persons coming regularly to Bhaga, it is the entire medical and scientific world that starts being touched by word of mouth. In the same way, the kind of persons who come for Namah’s workshops spread the word about it among others of the same generally high social milieu – not yet reached often enough by the deeper levels of Yoga beyond the usual (Hatha) Yoga as practiced in the West.
Regarding our Specialized Library, the feedback of the guests was overwhelmingly positive this year. We have over the years constituted quite a large collection of rare, very interesting books, which attracts the researchers and often they remark that a lot of those books are not anymore available in their countries.
Our Research work too has been especially appreciated this year, by a growing number of Aurovilians of increasingly diverse origins, as well as by the outsiders, very diverse too, that came in particularly great numbers in this Golden Jubilee Year.
Bhaga’s continued participation once a week in the Library work has helped bridge the gap that had existed some years ago between the Library and the Research teams, due to lack of communication and the misunderstandings that are the usual result. More interactions, along with mutual goodwill, have this year created a shared feeling of more cohesion among us, which is a very encouraging sign for our own internal ongoing experiment as the “Centre for Human Unity”.
We will continue to maintain with great care our books, as they are precious and some of them unique. Quite a number of them have been donated by our regular customers, as well as guests.
And we will continue to also maintain with great care our internal relations within the LOE-CHU, including those Aurovilians who at some point have been members of our overall team, and also the new ones who might like to help. In this year of Auroville’s Golden Jubilee, a need is felt, not only to reprint books published long ago, as still very useful and beautiful, but also to take up again and finally bring to fruition some previous projects that had been met with a very positive response but for various reasons not completed.
A book about the main aspects and results of the LOE-CHU Research is also long overdue. With the help of Paulina, young student just arrived (April 18th) from Germany as an intern at the LOE-CHU Research for the next six months, it will hopefully become possible to materialize such a book, mostly from Bhaga’s ongoing research blog started in 2011 (labofevolution (at) wordpress.com), and from other relevant documents.